Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

July 28, 2005

NATIONAL

Future shuttle flights on hold

NASA put future space shuttle flights on indefinite hold yesterday after agency managers admitted that a piece of insulating foam nearly as large as the piece that doomed Columbia in 2003 fell off Discovery's external fuel tank during launch. [Page 1a]

Man sentenced in bomb plot

The Algerian man who plotted to blow up Los Angeles International Airport at the height of millennium celebrations five years ago was sentenced to 22 years in prison yesterday. [Page 3a]

Mad cow disease suspected

A cow that died of complications from calving in April might have been infected with mad cow disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. But the department said there is no danger to the human or animal food supply. [Page 12a]

WORLD

Arrest may be key in London case

In a potentially major break in the London bombings case, police arrested a Somali man suspected of being one of four men behind last week's botched attacks. Authorities hope his capture of will yield inside information on the recent attacks.[Page 1a]

U.S. troop reductions foreseen

As Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to Iraq yesterday, the commander of U.S. forces there predicted that the United States would be able to make "fairly substantial reductions" in troops by the middle of next year. [Page 14a]

MARYLAND

Redevelopment trust fund

Baltimore City Council President Sheila Dixon revealed a proposal yesterday to create a multimillion-dollar community redevelopment trust fund, an idea she hopes will persuade skeptical council members to back Mayor Martin O'Malley's publicly financed convention center hotel. [Page 1a]

Sex offender registry flawed

Nearly one in five convicted sex offenders may not live at the addresses listed for them on the state registry designed to inform communities about rapists, child predators and other such criminals in their midst. Problems in accounting for the whereabouts of the more than 4,300 offenders included in the online database were illustrated this week when the address listed for a convicted rapist now accused of killing his 13-year-old stepdaughter in Essex was found to have been misspelled and unconfirmed. [Page 1a]

Bus route plan retooled

The Ehrlich administration has dropped many of the most controversial service cuts in its original restructuring plan for MTA bus service in the Baltimore area. Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan listed several routes that will be maintained, including service in Roland Park, to Villa Julie College and to the Stella Maris health care complex. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

Comcast suit dismissed

The Orioles are clear to broadcast their games on a regional cable network starting in 2007 after a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge dismissed a lawsuit by Comcast SportsNet claiming the regional network was created in violation of Comcast's contract with the Orioles. It remained unclear whether Comcast will resume negotiations to broadcast Washington Nationals games produced by the regional Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. [Page 1a]

Rangers top Orioles in 11

Gary Matthews' three-run homer in the 11th inning lifted the Texas Rangers to an 11-8 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards. Sammy Sosa hit his 587th career home run, moving him past Frank Robinson for sole possession of fifth place on baseball's all-time list. [Page 1e]

Maryland's claim to fame

Twelve baseball Hall of Famers are buried in Maryland. That puts the state behind only Delaware and Massachusetts in the per-capita realm of deceased baseball greats. [Page 1e]

BUSINESS

Columbia Bancorp being sold

Columbia Bancorp, whose emergence mirrored the growing wealth of Howard County, where it began two decades ago, has agreed to be sold to Fulton Financial Corp. of southern Pennsylvania for about $313 million in cash and stock, the banks said yesterday. [Page 1d]

Ritz-Carlton developer sues

The developer of Baltimore's Ritz-Carlton Residences is suing Edward V. Giannasca II, who shepherded the Inner Harbor project for the past five years, alleging fraud and breach of contract. The lawsuit, filed yesterday in federal court, marked the latest tangle in a project dogged by financial and legal disputes. [Page 1d]

GM ending discount promotion

After two months of brisk sales, General Motors Corp. will end its popular employee-discount program Monday and try to wean customers from incentives as its 2006 models hit showrooms. [Page 1d]

TODAY

`Law Firm' looks like a bad case

The Law Firm, producer David E. Kelley's first foray into reality TV, is likely to resemble his past few attempts at TV drama -- total failure, says TV critic David Zurawik. [Page 1c]

Virtual dating, real romance

An Iraq-bound soldier and a Maryland woman established a relationship through the Internet that he credits for keeping him going through two tours of duty. Caleb Johnson and Jaclyn Zendrian are to wed this fall. [Page 1c]

TODAY ONLINE

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I don't want the haves to get what the have-nots haven't."

Baltimore City Councilman Kenneth Harris Sr., discussing a proposal for a community redevelopment trust fund unveiled last night (Article, Page 1A)

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